India vs SA: Referees biased against Indian players

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 15, 2013 04:05 hrs

The double standards inherent in international cricket are coming to the fore once again as can be seen in the reactions to the various incidents and reactions of players during the game and the treatment meted out by the match referees. In Australia, when two players collided, the match referee decided that it was not deliberate and so let them off.

Having seen the way players from the subcontinent, especially players from India are treated for exactly the same transgression, the different standards are clear. Somehow match referees seem to take out the angst against the BCCI by trying to get at its players. 

There is also the general belief that because the Indian players are rich and spoilt, they deserve to be put in their place and fining them won’t make much of a difference to their pockets. The latter maybe true to some extent, but the fact that a player is fined is a black mark against his name for any future perceived transgression and won’t help him then.

The other incident that brought out the different thinking is when Ishant Sharma, who had bowled quite beautifully, was mocked for suggesting that the century maker Quinton de Kock was 'lucky'. If the same sort of opinion had been delivered by a South African or an Australian bowler about an Indian batsman that would have been called being combative, spirited and what not.

I remember many moons back commenting with the late Tony Greig and he commented about Venkatesh Prasad having a word with an Aussie batsman as the bowler being frustrated. I asked him to please explain why when a McGrath says something to the batsman it is aggression and when Venkatesh is doing the same it is frustration. He replied saying he owed me no explanation which I read as him having none, but that is exactly the situation now with Ishant's remark. As a bowler he is fully entitled to feel the luck was with the batsman and express it as long as he does not use abusive language.

The West Indies batsman Darren Bravo batted superbly to help save the team from certain defeat in the first Test and then some rain helped too, but it was a spirited effort by the West Indies batsmen after having been dismissed for not too many in the first innings.  

The West Indies bowling attack, however, must be the most pathetic in Test cricket at the moment with no new ball bowlers worth the name and neither a spinner who can trouble international batsmen. Ross Taylor has thus cashed in and scored a double hundred and then followed it up with another century in the second Test too.  He is this week’s CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.

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